Saturday, December 22, 2012

The End of Prophecy

The events of December 21st 2012 are sure to signal an end to the phenomenon known as ‘prophecy’.

‘Cos nothing happened.

Zip. Kaput. Zero. Nil points.

Followers of ‘prophecy’ gathered in their hordes around ancient temples, in city centres, on beaches and in public places to witness the coming of the latest end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it disaster.

They waited, and waited, and waited. Drank some coffee, and waited some more. The skies didn’t darken. No aliens invaded. Coffins remained shut. Zombies failed to walk. The sun shone, in those places where the sun shines – in others, people put up their umbrellas and walked to the nearest bus stop. Then went home.

All had passed peacefully. The leaders of the cults of prophecy, led by thin hippies with delicate facial hair, were quick to declare the failure of the prophecy to be a ‘mistake’. 

‘This kind of thing can happen with prophecy’, one declared. ‘Prophecy, you old bugger,’ said another. A third chuckled – ‘you never know where you are with prophecy’, she said.

Running Out of Time

This latest prophetic catastrophe, or ‘non-event’ as the word translates in many languages, was tied in with the predictions of the Mayan calendar.

But it turns out it was the Mayan calendar which gave up on Time, rather than time itself. The Mayans simply ran out of stone or chisels or whatever, or were too busy trying to find water to alleviate the terrible drought that was afflicting their jungle civilization to finish their calendar.

They thought 2012 was far enough away for them not to bother too much about it.

And they were right – their civilization dwindled to almost nothing 1000 years ago.

So why do otherwise sensible people buy into and play out these dramas of world annihilations and global snuffing-outs?

Who knows, but whoever you are, I’ve got some news for you - the future can’t be predicted. And why should it be? In any one moment it doesn’t yet exist. Belief in fate or astrology or prediction takes away the better part of yourself, the bit where you decide what’s going to happen, you decide what you want and take the steps to manage that process. Not blindly relying on faith or the supernatural to get you there. Such belief takes away the essence of what you are – namely a talented, thinking, emotional being capable of doing anything in the playground of life that you wish to do.

And yes, this means that all claims by astrologers, card readers, graphologists, and other such charlatans are piffle.

In the words of a writer on the Skeptic website, writing in particular about the ramblings of Nostradamus, prophecy is "gibberish that can mean anything or nothing". Which means - the world is weird enough as it is without wishing it to be weirder.